Not only the title, but also the first section of Perdas & Ganhos [Losses & Gains], by Lya Luft, suggest, in one hand, the search for balance. In the other hand, they could result in a duality that would reach Manichaeism, were not for the recognizable vital experience of the narrator in the polysemy of the processes that allow us to live. The dialog (the tone) the book searches is an example of how looking and listening are indispensable for understanding, for the joy of oneself and of others.
In the second section, the author restates the value of virtue, nature, individuality, trust, a therapy that may lead to self-knowledge; she also reproaches the excessive attachment to family ties, which sometimes causes disorders; the examples of sacrificial parents that end up blaming their children because of their own failures; the incommunicability of the affec
tions and the thoughtless belonging to the flock spirit. In her Soul’s theory, she draws attention to the way how death could go down well for many of us, occupied that we might be with “the others”, fully discredited for ourselves, because we don’t know our individual powers.
“Who are we or do we think we are…? Who do we want to be? Who do we like to be?” Are three questions Lya Luft tries to answer, and she does it in the third section of Perdas & Ganhos: we are contradictions: ignorance versus discernment; love versus servitude, generosity versus self-annihilation, adaptation versus self-mutilation. We need to revise our processes until elaboration, grant amnesty to ourselves for our failures, for the past lack of dialog; search for good mood, in the acceptance of maturity as self- esteem and aging as a crowning.
Moreover, in the fourth section, the author reintegrates to life feelings like hope (the lover), optimism (the legacy from the soul’s genetics), acceptance of the novelty that convokes us (new activities about which we hadn’t thought), renewal, development of paths, reading of a novel, reestablishment for reflection, and a little silence. She also talks of depression, mourning, the need for internal resources, because the external ones are temporary, and in the worst of the tragedies, which generally is the loss of someone dear to us, we need much internal background.
At last, Lya Luft may conclude with the reader that, as much as there’s lucidity, there shall always be space for the search of happiness as the end of life, in the place of death. Perdas & Ganhos is, therefore, a bedside book for her readers and for their partners as well.
[In: Luft, Lya. Perdas e Ganhos. 20 ed. Rio de Janeiro: Record, 2004. 156 p.]